It seems like Thomas Peterffy, chairman of Interactive Brokers, is finally overcoming his suspicions related to the viability of bitcoin, the newest finance tool that is gaining immense popularity.
Peterffy was recently reported saying that the listing of bitcoin on two highly reputed exchanges has added a lot of credibility to the cryptocurrency. He believes that this news will further add to the popularity of bitcoin. He isn’t the only business leader in the financial markets who has toned down his attitude towards bitcoin recently.
In a statement to the media, Peterffy clarified that he wasn’t against bitcoin trading; however, he was unsure about linking it to the ‘actual economy’ via traditional products like futures.
Back in November, he thought that the launching of bitcoin futures by CME Group Inc (NASDAQ: CME) was “suicidal”. He had commented that such a decision could have the effect of bringing down the overall economy. In fact, a huge advertisement was also published by Peterffy in the WSJ as a warning to J. Christopher Giancarlo, chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. In this letter, he highlighted the risks of passing bitcoin on those exchanges which has other traditional financial products.
The largest futures exchange in the world, the CME, along with the Cboe Global Markets Inc (NASDAQ: CBOE), its closest competitor, have recently introduced contracts for bitcoin futures. There has been a whopping 1,700% surge in bitcoin this year, despite the criticism about it being a huge bubble in the financial market.
According to an Interactive Brokers representative, the firm is still worried about the bitcoin futures’ clearing house arrangement. Hence it has enforced margin requirements which are a lot higher than those levied by CME and Cboe.
Bitcoin futures made quite a smooth debut on the CME and Cboe. The bitcoin futures of Cboe did end up triggering two halts in trading on 10 December. However, there hasn’t been any trading halt in CME futures as a result of volatility as yet.
In September this year, the president of CME, Bryan Durkin, had said that the bitcoin is still quite nascent. He had also added that they couldn’t really visualize moving ahead with any sort of futures contract soon. But on 31st October, CME made an announcement regarding launching bitcoin futures year-end.